By David Helms
October 15, 2012
Pontotoc Aldermen last week unanimously passed a motion for the city's police department to partner with the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department in subscribing to LeadsOnline, the nation's largest online investigative system.
The police and sheriff's departments will split the monthly $2,238 cost of subscribing to the LeadsOnline system.
The LeadsOnline system contains pawnshop inventories and reports which can be used to track stolen merchandise throughout the country.
Police Chief Larry Poole said the LeadsOnline system will be very valuable when investigating property crimes, metal theft and narcotics investigations.
"The sheriff's department used it for 60 days on a trial basis and found that it provided some good information," Chief Poole said.
"Since we already work together on a lot of cases, it would be good to share the cost and let it help us solve cases we had going," Poole said.
Police Officer Jimmy Farris said the nationwide information available would be the most valuable tool.
"Most of your pawn shops report their inventory to this system and we've found through other investigations that stolen items are sometimes going to Memphis, Birmingham, or Georgia," Farris told aldermen.
"Plus, Tennessee currently has no law regulating the purchase of crystal meth precursors, so this system would help because it logs pharmacy transactions," Farris said.
Sheriff Leo Mask said he's glad the city has agreed to help with the cost of the system.
"It's already proved valuable to us with some metal theft cases," Mask said.
"We can load a description of the property, or serial numbers we have, and if it's out there anywhere it will pop up," Mask said.
Mask encouraged residents to record the serial number of their property.
"It's a little time and trouble to write down the serial number of all your stuff, but if it's stolen, that number is the only real lead we have," Mask said.
"And folks should take a picture of their jewelry, so that it can be identified."
In other new business, aldermen voted 4-0 (Alderman Herman Austin abstained) to hire Houlka native Casey Sappington, 29, as a new park and recreation program coordinator.
Sappington, a graduate of Houlka High School, has a degree in sports management from Mississippi State University and her master's degree from Troy University.
Park Director Terry Farr said Sappington will start her job on December 3.
"Casey's got the education, the experience and had a great interview," Farr told aldermen. "She's going to be a valuable asset to our program."
In another item, aldermen voted 5-0 to advertise for bids to purchase 2,100 tons of asphalt for street repairs.
"The city engineer has designated places in most need of repair," said Mayor Jeff Stafford. "This will probably run us about two-thirds of the $300,000 we have budgeted for street repair."
Aldermen also accepted the lowest bid for the clean up of two adjudicated properties, including:
-a bid of $125 from Hanging Grapes Quad Company for clean up at 318 Spring Hill Drive;
-and a bid of $100 from Teresa Baldwin for clean up at 192 Sloan Street